Acclaimed violinist will be the first to join Loyola's artist-in-residence program _lowres

Photo provided by Loyola University -- Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

Loyola University’s School of Music will launch an artist-in-residence program this week under the direction of internationally renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, university officials announced.

Salerno-Sonnenberg will begin her residency with a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Loyola’s Nunemaker Auditorium.

Born in Italy, the violinist moved to New Jersey with her mother when she was 8.

In 1981, she became the youngest winner of the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition, and in 1999 she won the Avery Fisher Prize for “outstanding achievement and excellence in music.”

She has her own record label, NSS.

At Loyola, she will work with the university’s chamber orchestra by transforming it into a conductor-less group, said Anthony Decuir, dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts.

“The development of a conductor-less ensemble at the university level will empower our musicians, demand a higher level of preparedness and give our students an increased degree of authority in their ensemble playing,” Decuir said.

Salerno-Sonnenberg will also teach master classes and give three concerts with the chamber orchestra, along with one with the Loyola Symphony Orchestra.

Salerno-Sonnenberg, 54, has been music director of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra, which also performs without a conductor, since 2008. She has played several times with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Professional artists like Nadja are successful business people,” Decuir said. “Having the presence of this resident artist aligns with our devotion to our string program, with the values of our Music Industry Studies program, and with what we perceive as the future of the arts — arts entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency.”

Tickets to Sunday’s concert are available at or by calling the box office at (504) 865-2074.